Just superb! Five-goal Royston stun leaders

Luton 2 Royston 5 Royston stormed to a superb win at league leaders Luton on Saturday. They took the lead with a typically crisp strike from Dave Barker, and then began to play with some fluency, and although not creating too many chances, looked by far

Luton 2 Royston 5

Royston stormed to a superb win at league leaders Luton on Saturday.

They took the lead with a typically crisp strike from Dave Barker, and then began to play with some fluency, and although not creating too many chances, looked by far the most dangerous of the teams.

Quick counter attacks have been a successful weapon for Royston over the years, and one of these led to Dan Smith scoring Royston's second.

The hosts began to push forward, and with 10 minutes of the first half remaining, pulled one back.

However, the Crows continued to carve through the hosts' defence and Nick Hurd slotted in his first of the day and Royston's third.

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In the second half the Crows looked to maintain their performance, but their plans suffered a blow when keeper Chris Markham was sin binned for 15 minutes.

Royston had to defend well in order to keep their lead intact, with Graham Mack moving from centre forward to midfield.

Luton were unable to break down Royston's hard-working defensive unit, although they did win a number of short corners, from which they scored a second.

Despite being outnumbered, Jerry Ross still looked to move forward from the right, and the match was sealed when Smith and Mack found Barker, who slipped in to score his second.

Hurd then scored his second for Royston as the visitors completed a superb victory that pushed them to within a point of new league leaders Stevenage.

Royston II 2 Shefford & Sandy II 5

AFTER being forced to play the first half with 10 men, it was always going to be a struggle for Royston.

And Shefford & Sandy took full advantage, overrunning the defence with waves of attacks.

And despite the best efforts of Dickens, McKay, and Hooton, Shefford & Sandy put four past keeper Jackson.

Royston were given a second-half boost when Steve Welding evened up the sides, but Shefford & Sandy quickly grabbed a fifth.

However, Royston showed tremendous spirit, with man-of-the-match Stephen Priest and Mike Welding taking control down the right.

The pressure showed, and after finding space, Allsopp slipping the ball to Steve Welding, who deftly chipped the ball over the keeper and into the net.

As the game progressed, the Royston defence held firm, and they were rewarded with a late goal as Allsopp snatched his second.

Royston III 6 Berkhamsted IV 0

A MUCH improved performance from Royston's younger players saw off basement boys Berkhamsted in comfortable fashion.

It was with speed, pace of ball, and structured approach play that saw Royston calmly and patiently break down the opposition's defence.

Goals from Andy Simmons (2), Perry Noble (2), Clive Biddlecombe and Arnie Whittaker secured the win, with keeper Robert Frost having little to do at the other end.

Skipper Nick Broadley said: "We are developing into a very strong unit, with the youngsters getting stronger and more confident every week.

"Their reliance on the senior players is getting less, which creates a much more balanced side and a far more potent force."

Royston IV 6 Shefford & Sandy 2

AFTER conceding a soft early goal an under-strength Royston bounced back with a flurry of goals.

However, it took 33 minutes for them to find their feet, when Markham drove down the right and forced a penalty corner.

And when Paul Bloomfield's first shot was saved, Ollie Timms pounced, and his pass was followed up by Colin Bateman for a simple tap in.

And it took only 10 minutes of the second half for Royston to take the lead, when Tim Yow and Bateman combined for Bloomfield to fire home.

Royston maintained the pressure, and within minutes Gourd made it three after a one-on-one with the Shefford keeper.

Shortly after Gourd had his second and Royston's fourth when he knocked in Bloomfield's pass.

Royston then netted a fifth, before they backed off and as a result of some sloppy defending allowed Shefford in for a second.

However, man-of-the-match Mike Parsons then put stop to another Shefford attack and played the ball to Yow who played in Bowen.

And when Bowen picked out Bateman he forced another penalty corner.

Yow slipped the ball to Gourd, and he finished with precision and power to complete his hat-trick and a fine win for Royston.

Royston V 1 Shefford & Sandy 1

MISSED chances were costly for depleted Royston, who had to settle for a share of the spoils against Shefford & Sandy.

The game started with both sides jostling for possession, although neither looked like taking the lead, until a break through the middle saw Shefford take the lead from a well-worked counter-attack.

Royston seemed invigorated in the second half and played the best hockey of the match.

However, the Shefford defence held firm, despite Royston's best efforts.

But the defence was finally breached when a skilfully won short corner was fired home by Keith Markham.

Royston dominated the rest of the match, and were unlucky not to have scored from the number of chances that went begging.

When the final whistle sounded, Royston were happy to walk away with the draw but disappointed that they had not converted more of the chances that they had created.